Mexico is a popular vacation spot for Americans, especially in winter months when people are trying to get out of the cold temperatures. Many Americans find it more economical to drive into Mexico, especially if they live in southern states.
If you are planning a road trip to Mexico, your driver’s license will be valid in Mexico but your car insurance will not be. Mexico does not recognize car insurance policies from the U.S. In order to be insured in Mexico, travelers must purchase Mexico travel insurance.
Under Mexican law, foreign drivers are financially responsible for any physical damage or bodily injury they may cause while driving. Car insurance for Mexico is available per day for up to 60 days. Buying affordable Mexico travel insurance is easy. Drivers can purchase Mexico travel insurance at a local insurance office, online and over the phone.
In Mexico, states have their own set of liability guidelines. Before buying Mexico car insurance, check the liability car insurance guidelines for the state(s) you will be driving in.
If you are considering entering Mexico by car, you car will need a vehicle permit. Car permits in Mexico cost $44 and must be paid with a credit card. Permits may be purchased at the U.S./Mexico border.
For a car permit, you will need the following documents:
- Proof of car ownership
- Proof of registration
- An affidavit from any lien holders
- A valid driver’s license
- Proof of citizenship
Even though you are not flying, you will be required to show a passport when leaving and reentering the U.S. All children and infants are also required to have their own passport.
Once in Mexico, drivers in Mexico may travel via the libre (free) road or the quota (toll) road. Mexico toll roads are well-maintained and are safer to drive in but they are also expensive. While driving in Mexico, the U.S. Department of State recommends travelers use toll (quota) roads and avoid driving overnight as much as possible for safety reasons. Road fatalities are higher at night in Mexico because of poor street lighting.
It is important to be respectful of driving laws in Mexico, especially speed limits. The speed limits in Mexico are in kilometers per hour. Print out a kilometers to miles conversion chart and keep it handy to make sure you are not driving too fast.
If you experience an emergency and need assistance, you can reach Mexico’s version of 911 at 066.